Mixon’s not the only running back to get a deal done this offseason. Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry received over $110 million in total value combined. Ezekiel Elliott, Le’Veon Bell, and David Johnson are all several years into their contracts, which were groundbreaking when they were originally signed.
How does Mixon’s deal compare with other running backs around the league?
In terms of total value, Elliott still leads the way with over $90 million. McCaffrey is second in the league with $64 million. Mixon is now fifth with $48 million, right behind Henry ($50 million) and Bell ($52.5 million) and right above Johnson ($39 million).
Elliott’s value is so huge, however, because his deal keeps him under team control for seven more years after signing it last year. The Cowboys have a potential out after four years, and if they took it would only end up paying $50 million. That is actually much closer to Mixon’s terms when the potential out is taken into account.
Mixon will average $12 million a year, which would be sixth in the league behind all of the aforementioned backs. The spread is a lot closer, with McCaffrey topping out at $16 million and Henry right at $12.5 million.
Giovani Bernard also happens to be top 20 in average annual value making the Bengals the only team in the NFL with two running backs in the top 20.
The details of Mixon’s deal paint a clearer picture. Mixon’s signing bonus is $10 million, which is actually higher than Elliott’s believe it or not, but that signing bonus makes up over 50% of his total guaranteed money.
At $19.3 million practically guaranteed—meaning not just at signing, Mixon is now sixth in the NFL in total guaranteed money for non-rookie contract running backs. The gap between sixth and fifth on the list is about $5 million.
The initial cash flow is also much less than other recent running back contracts. Mixon’s total cash earned after three years is $29.2 million. For reference, McCaffrey will earn $39 million and Henry will earn $37.5 million by the same year for Mixon.
In short, the Bengals are paying Mixon to be a top-6 running back in the NFL. His total number of rushing attempts and rushing yards over the last two seasons seem to back it up.
How do you think Joe Mixon compares to the rest of the league’s running backs?